Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Our marriage is no longer a priority for her"

"I know your job is crime fighting honey, but you're ALWAYS out fighting crime!"

The Huffington Post recently published a post titled '6 Things Men Complain About In Marriage Counseling'.  Some of them struck an immediate chord with me ("YESSSS!) so I thought I'd share some of them here, and then give you my 2¢ worth afterwards. If you want to read the whole article (and you should) you can find it here.
6. Our marriage is no longer a priority for her.
In therapy sessions, men tell Berger that at some point in time, they feel like their marriage took a backseat to nearly everything else in their wives' lives: the kids, her career, nights out with friends. To rebuild that sense of partnership, Berger tells couples to make a real effort to go on date nights once a week.
"It should be a time to relax and daydream out loud, like when you were courting -- before the responsibilities of married life kicked in!" she said. "Then also schedule marriage meetings where you work on resolving issues and fostering teamwork within your marriage."
Date nights -- along with loosely structured conversations about marriage and family responsibilities -- should go a long way in bringing spouses closer together, Berger said.
I almost skipped excerpting this one because it's not about sex (or lack of, which is the reason for this blog) but then I realised this is a problem for me. As my wife overtook me in both career, status, and wealth I observed her take on all the traits usually attributed to men. Her job was very important so if she needed to go to some work related function she would. If she wanted to go out with 'the girls' to wind down after work, she would. It's not an issue, until suddenly after 10 years you realise it is an issue. She comes first, you come second. My wife is forever scheduling meetings and after work functions for the same time our daughter has after school activities. For her this achieves two goals: she can go somewhere with her business buddies and 'socialise' (ie drink) and I can't come because someone has to look after our daughter. (Yes, I'm well aware she's my daughter too and it's not a woman's job to take of the children).

But the real reason I had to share #6 was that they mention 'Date Night'. This is the go to solution recommended by couples counsellors and... it always starts well but then always peters out to zero. Counsellors and Advice Columnists always tell couples they need to keep their relationship alive by devoting some exclusive time to themselves ("get a sitter!" "send the kids on a sleepover!" "just one night a week for yourselves!") and they're correct. Date Night is a good thing. But it never lasts. It's fun for the first month or two, but by then other issues come into play. Date Night get's postponed for one reason or another, and then Date Night doesn't get postponed, it gets skipped. And then next thing you know you're not having Date Night anymore and it's back to how things used to be.

For me the worst part of Date Night was when we didn't have sex afterwards. If that makes me seem shallow or sexist then read #5 again. My wife and I had some seriously good (IMO, and I'm sure she agreed) Dates and then we get home and go to bed and ... nothing.  Nothing is worse than thinking you've hit one out of the park and then your wife says 'No home run'.

Of course she doesn't say it like that - she yawns loudly and says how tired she is and what a big day at work she has in the morning - before giving you a quick kiss and rolling over.

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